Monday, June 05, 2006

Taxing times

Word count: 90,582

I've had two days 'off' so far this week and keep getting emails from people saying how lucky I am to be on holiday in such lovely weather.

I am not moaning, honest, but so far I have spent:
  • 14 hours writing;
  • 2 hours researching cold war nuclear bunkers (this guide to civil defence history in the UK is an absolute gem and the kind of thing the web is so brilliant for);
  • 1 hour sorting my tax for last year;
  • 1 hour at solicitors;
  • 1 hour max sitting on the balcony reading the enthralling Gideon the Cutpurse (Sunday Times children's book of the week).

I am not on holiday, OK. I am trying to get as many words under my belt before we *touches wood before writing next two words* move house. I know that after that my yin and yang will be out of kilter and with a July deadline, I need to get cracking.

So am trying to write one long chapter per day. Am also on the glucosamine as it makes my hands go a bit funny.

In other news, all my author friends have been getting themselves worked up over this article in the Sunday Times which says that our agents' fees will no longer be tax deductible AND, what's more, the taxman may try to reclaim tax we should have paid as a result for the last SIX years.

Let me begin say I don't suppose I'm going to get your sympathy for this one. You probably think that all authors are a) terribly lucky; b) annoyingly well-connected and c) stinking rich.

I'll admit to a) (though there has been a fair bit of work involved, too. Alas, b) isn't true, I have no royal cousins or publishing guru godmother. As for c) well, I am not in the JK category. And there's a reason why I've been working AND writing for the last three years.

I could recite the arguments but this piece by Libby Purves and this blog entry by Kate Hardy explain it very well indeed. If you have any hope of writing for a living, it's worth reading. Bottom line is, almost all authors NEED agents. They are not a luxury - especially as most publishers won't accept unagented submissions. They keep up sane.

Lovely Link of the Day:
I love the BBC series, Life on Mars - boyf got the DVD at the weekend and it's fab. So fab that I can forgive them for also featuring a central character who experiences flashbacks after a coma (the same story device I am using in The Scaredycat's Handbook - everyone's bound to think I copied it, but I didn't, honest!). Anyway on that site you can take a quiz to see if you'd fit into the 1970s AND download a screensaver.

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